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Dance Application Requirements

The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance Requirements

Prospective students must complete both the Admissions application process and the audition process to be considered for admission.

Program in Dance (BFA)

Approximately 10 BFA audition events are held each year from October through February. Auditions and interviews are held on the CalArts campus and in select U.S. cities. Audtion Schedule

BFA applicants

An audition is required of applicants to the BFA Program in Dance. The live audition will consist of contemporary dance and/or ballet technique. There is also a creative component to the audition. Individual solos are not required. Audition attire should consist of form fitting clothes, preferably tights and leotards for women, t-shirts and tights for men. There is no clothing color requirement for the audition.

Applicants to the BFA Program in Dance who are not able to schedule a live audition may submit examples of their work using our online portfolio submission system. The online system accepts MP3's, documents, images and video. Once a portfolio is uploaded, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission is made. No changes can be made following the final submission of your portfolio. There is a fee for each portfolio submission made through the online system. Be sure to submit the portfolio to the correct degree level and program. If you experience technical difficulties while uploading your portfolio, you may send an e-mail to support@slideroom.com for technical support.

Recorded auditions must include the following dance technique class work:

  • Ballet Bar: Plies, tendus, degages and battements.
  • Modern Center Floor: A phrase of movement that travels across the floor and incorporates jumps and/or turns.
  • Contemporary/Modern based Solo: Choreographed and performed by applicant.

Please note that online audition submissions are accepted but live auditions are strongly recommended.

BFA transfer applicants

An audition is required for all BFA transfer applicants. See the audition guidelines for the BFA program above for information.  BFA transfer applicants wishing to be considered for advanced placement are also required to submit an online portfolio with two complete works (no excerpts), one choreographic work and one performance work.

Program in Choreography (MFA)

CalArts is looking for experienced dance artists who are interested in creating contemporary choreography as a career.

Applicants who have passed the preliminary selection process will be invited to visit CalArts and will be asked to teach a class, interview and audition and to meet faculty and students. Each of these applicants who have submitted their portfolios by the application deadline will be personally notified by the end of January 2013. Applicants will be
invited at the discretion of the review committee.  All pre-interview correspondence should be directed to the Admissions Counselor for the School of Dance. This is a full-day event and an important component of the final selection process.

MFA applicants must submit samples of their work using our online portfolio submission system. The online system accepts MP3's, documents, images and video. Once the portfolio is uploaded, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission is made. No changes can be made following the final submission of your portfolio. There is a fee for each portfolio submission made through the online system.  If you experience technical difficulties while uploading your portfolio, you may send an e-mail to support@slideroom.com for technical support.

MFA applicants must provide the following materials:

  • Two or three complete works (no excerpts) of group choreography of a live performance recorded. 

Applicants should not submit work recorded in a dance studio.

Applicants must include complete credits for each piece of choreography they submit. To do so, please upload a document with your online portfolio submission that clearly identifies each piece of choreography along with complete credits ie; choreographers, collaborators, performers, designers (lighting, costume, etc.) and the venue that each piece was performed in.  

Other examples of creative work, such as site-specific, dance-video, etc., are also welcome.

  • Three letters of recommendation (letters of recommendation should be uploaded with your online application, not your online portfolio submission)
  • Professional résumé
  • Artist's statement: In addition to the artist’s statement required of all applicants to CalArts, MFA Dance applicants must also submit a separate statement addressing the following two questions:  1. Name one choreographer and one artist working in another medium that you have been influenced by and why? 2. What do you see as the next step in your development as a choreographer?

Learn more about the program, faculty, facilities, curriculum and view student work.

Last edited by mryan on Sep 08, 2014
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